Trust boosts business

Kicking off IBIS Global Summit 2018, Paul Steele, sales director, DACH, from TrustPilot told delegates that consumers still trust ‘bricks and mortar’ manufacturer branded and independent dealerships over company’s websites and social media pages.

Paul presented Trustpilot’s findings from its recent survey exploring how consumers’ habits have changed towards purchasing cars.

According to the survey, 73% of consumers research online before purchasing a car, with 28.7% spending over a month researching. Furthermore, the results suggest that branded advertising is losing its effectiveness, where word of mouth and independent online reviews left by other consumers are finding to be the most influential media channels to those deciding to buy a car.

Paul stated the tremendous switch from the traditional purchasing of cars where customers would go to dealerships, to now, when only one in 10 do not buy online. He said, ‘There has been a £41bn revenue switch from the offline to the online in the UK alone.’

Paul highlighted the importance of trust and trust elements in brands to encourage an increase of sales and customer loyalty. With more than a third of customers considering buying a car online, it is vital for businesses to pay close attention to online trust elements. ‘These are simple but oftentimes overlooked. They keep customers engaged within your brand and build loyalty,’ said Paul.

Paul described trust elements as: web design, updated content, ‘browseability’, easy to find contact, company and location information, a humanized brand, accessible FAQ, T&Cs and data security, trust seals and the presence of social proof. Paul placed emphasis on the need for a website to have social proof, or reviews, with over 92% of consumers reading online reviews before purchasing. He said, ‘The most important trust element is having social proof, having a community of reviews is a big confidence booster for customers.’

With more customer trust comes more sales, which leads to a profit increase for companies. Paul encouraged businesses to drive more traffic at a lower cost to its brand through aids like Google Seller Ratings which can boost traffic from a paid search. By increasing click-through rates (CTR), brands can improve their quality score and decrease the price of cost-per-click. ‘Companies found 30% more business through the web with just having stars there,’ said Paul.

Equally, standing out in organic searches, displaying reviews on a company’s website with widgets, and adding credibility to marketing in every channel, will help build consumer’s trust to a brand and product.

Paul concluded that businesses can engage with consumers more effectively, while gaining trust  will bring a stronger relationship with customers.

IBIS Global Summit 2018 is partnered by 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Axalta, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fix Auto, and Symach.